of Gérard van Eyk
I was born in 1929 in Venlo in The Netherlands. After WW II I have been hitchhiking all over Europe and I have taken a keen interest in European and inter-cultural affairs, which continues up to the present time. I studied mathematics and engineering. I have been a European businessman for two Dutch multinationals, travelling throughout Europe for many years. I had my own consulting business for some time. Later I became professor at the Faculty of Industrial Design of the University of Technology at Delft University. During that time I was Dean of Faculty and chaired several years the Permanent Committee for Education. During this period, I taught courses in Paris, among others, at the Ponts & Chaussées. Besides this, I had various activities in socio-cultural fields: I ran a workshop on Elementary Theatre; developing specific methods for young (and older) people preferring to be self-employed and facilitated many workshops on 'going solo'. I further took part in various initiatives in the context of 'alternative' learning/teaching outside the schooling system, mainly for adults. For several years, I was president of Memoles, a private foundation for the support of small enterprises aiming at more respectful relationships with mankind in its natural form.
The methods and theories in my consulting projects, for one part, stemmed from the regular business world and from the 'alternative' thinking on the other. In that sense, these were 'transcultural' projects: To create acceptance for the thinking and the methods of one in relation to the other. One of the larger projects of this kind was the transfer to Eastern Europe, in 1991, of the workshops on 'going solo' --and all its know-how-- for final year students, and the unemployed, who were considering self-employment. As planned, these workshops proliferated to a great extent.
After my retirement in 1994, I sold my house in Eindhoven and left The Netherlands for good. Since then, I have been travelling light, looking only for regions with the purest air and highest temperatures. That is to say: A Mediterranean summer in the South of France, and the Canarian Isles for the rest of the time. Nevertheless, I prefer travelling to Chile for a real warm Mediterranean summer during our wintertime.
I have taken a keen interest in El Mundo Español. With all my knowledge, it still surprises my northern european eyes for its profound cultural differences. More than once, my anti authoritarian soul is offended by its shameless authoritarianism. I'm writing about my street observations in Spanish, in French and in Dutch.